NBA to Unlock its Content
The hot story on Memeorandum right now is that the NBA is going to make all of its video content available in a database so fans can search it, view it, and possibly create their own highlight reels.
Being a highlights geek--and not being alone in this respect, I'm guessing--I can't even say how excited I am by this move. Back in the day NBA.com had a personalized highlight reel, but the interface was kludgy, broadband penetration wasn't where it needed to be, and walled gardens were de rigeur.
Now, good user interfaces tend towards simplicity over complexity, broadband penetration in the US is above 40%, and content is being
freed syndicated. The timing is right for the NBA to do what they're doing.
The question is whether they will pay attention to Fred Wilson's brilliant idea mashup about The Future of Media, where he says:
Here is the future of media:
1 - Microchunk it - Reduce the content to its simplest form. Thanks Umair.
2 - Free it - Put it out there without walls around it or strings on it. Thanks Stewart.
3 - Syndicate it - Let anyone take it and run with it. Thanks Dave.
4 - Monetize it - Put the monetization and tracking systems into the microchunk. Thanks Feedburner.
Leaving aside the rights issues, which I know are large, if I were a television executive right now, I'd take my content, microchunk it, put a couple calls to a video ad server in the middle of it, and let it go whereever it wants to go, safe in the knowledge that whenever the show is viewed, I'll get to run a couple 15 second spots in the middle of it (which I could change whenever I wanted to and which I could measure).
In this model, customers win, because they get to view, remix, and distribute content as they wish. And the publisher wins, because it continues to make money, gives customers what they want, and has powerful advocates virally distributing their content for free.
I hope the NBA is paying attention, because I can't wait to make my Vince Carter highlight reel, and send it to all my friends.